ChrisWeigant.com

A Simple Budget Process Fix

[ Posted Thursday, January 18th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

As I write this, the House of Representatives appears to be ready to hold a vote on the one-month budget extension (continuing resolution), which likely means Paul Ryan has successfully twisted enough arms of the Freedom Caucus ( Tea Partiers) and now has the votes he needs to get the bill passed. Up until a few hours ago, even this was uncertain, showing how Republicans are struggling even among themselves to get anything done. And that's before the bill goes over to the Senate, where it will likely die. Will this lead to a government shutdown tomorrow night? Or will some last-minute deal be struck to keep the doors open? At this point, nobody knows.

If a shutdown comes to pass, the next thing on the agenda in Washington will be the blame game. Both sides will be spinning like crazy, hoping that the public buys their version of events. Who will succeed is an open question, at this point. But what few in the media are bothering to point out is that this didn't just appear out of the blue. What preceded it is indeed the real problem.

The federal fiscal year begins on the first of October. That's when the federal budget is supposed to already be in place. That, obviously, did not happen. So for almost four straight months now, Congress has proven incapable of completing its most critical function. January 19th is not normally a big budgetary deadline, to put this another way.

As the October deadline approached, Congress agreed to kick the can down the road with the first continuing resolution. This funded the government through early December. When that deadline approached, they booted the can to the end of the month. When Christmas rolled around, for the third time Congress kicked the budget can again, setting January 19th as the new deadline. What is being argued about now would be the fourth such extension, which will only fund the government for another month.

This is, obviously, no way to run things. Since Republicans are in charge of both the House and the Senate, it is also pretty obvious that they are incapable of putting a budget together than can pass -- even among their own caucus. They've had four months to do so and the best they can come up with is another one-month extension that will simply delay the fight for another day. It won't solve any of the budget problems, with the exception of the funding for CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program), which will get a six-year budget appropriation. Everything else will essentially continue on autopilot. CHIP really should have been funded months ago, but Republicans actually let it lapse, which put them in the position of playing politics with children's lives. Now they're offering the funding as a "sweetener" for Democrats, in the hopes of gaining their votes. That's pretty cynical, but that's Washington these days.

In the past four months, Republicans could have passed a budget at any time. They didn't. They could have at least passed a budget out of the House, to pressure the Senate to negotiate. But the squabbling within the Republican caucus has prevented any meaningful action even in the House.

Even if Ryan does manage to pass the short-term bill tonight, it already appears dead in the Senate. Republicans currently hold 51 seats. John McCain has not returned to the Senate since mid-December, so it is questionable whether he'll even appear tomorrow. Already, three other GOP senators (including Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul) have said they'll vote against the short-term deal, mostly in protest of not passing a real budget instead (they're frustrated with all the continuing resolutions). That only leaves 47 possible Republican "yea" votes. So even if Democrats did nothing but sit on their hands -- even if they didn't launch a filibuster and all just voted "present," in other words -- the bill would fail to pass the Senate.

All this makes it pretty hard for Republicans to claim that Democrats are somehow the ones responsible for shutting the government down. Even if Democrats merely stood aside and uttered no protest (and no "nay" votes), Republicans still would not be able to avoid a shutdown. They cannot even agree among themselves what they should do, to put it plainly.

The last time a continuing resolution passed, more than a dozen Senate Democrats voted for it. They got a lot of grief from the Dreamers and their advocates for doing so, since they had promised to deal with the DACA problem "before the end of the year." This time around, it's going to be that much harder for any Democrat to vote for a budget extension without a DACA fix. Of those in the Senate who voted for the last budget extension, nine or ten have already publicly said they will not vote for the bill coming out of the House. With only 47 Republican votes even possible, this means that even if Democrats didn't filibuster the bill, it still might not pass. When you add in the possibility of a filibuster, the bill seems deader than a doornail already, no matter what the House does tonight (or "may have already done," I should say -- the vote may have already happened).

This leaves no easy way out. Republicans so far have balked at voting on any DACA fix (even the bipartisan ones that have been introduced), mostly because nobody can figure out what Trump and the White House even wants, at this point. Trump has been all over the map, leaving no clear picture of what he will or will not accept. So why should congressional Republicans vote for a bill that Trump may decide to veto? That would be a lose-lose situation for them, since they would take grief from all sides (both for voting for the Dreamers to be legalized, and for not succeeding in doing so in the end).

All of this may have to be worked out tomorrow, or in the very near future. The last possible way to avoid a shutdown would be a continuing resolution measured not in months or weeks but in days. Congress could have to stay in session through the weekend and into early next week to hash the DACA problems out, in other words, with no hope of even a one-month extension. At this point, this actually seems like the most likely outcome. Everyone could avoid the nastiness of a government shutdown, but the problem would not go away until a DACA deal was struck.

No matter what happens, there is an easy way to avoid all this nonsense in the future -- an idea which has already proven to work exactly as designed. The idea is a simple one: if the budget is not in place on the first of October, then all congressional paychecks stop. Period. When a budget is finally put into place, the back pay cannot be made up -- once gone, it is irretrievably lost. California passed just such a "No Budget, No Pay Act" a while back, because the state had just as many problems as Congress in passing budgets on time. This led to state workers being paid with "vouchers" that were later made up. The people got sick of the games and passed a ballot initiative which stated in no uncertain terms that if a budget wasn't in place, state legislators would not get paid. Since this idea became law (after a minor tug-of-war the first year it was in effect), California budgets have passed each and every year on time.

If Congress faced the same situation, we simply would not be arguing about government shutdowns in December, or January, or February, or beyond. Even a few weeks of missed paychecks would get the parties to the bargaining table. When you hit them where they live, it hurts, in other words. They wouldn't be playing brinksmanship games with children's health, or DACA kids, or the Pentagon's budget, or anything else -- they would be playing games with their own personal income. People scoffed when California passed such a law, believing it wouldn't work. But it has worked -- like a charm, in fact.

Over the next 30 hours or so in Washington, the brinksmanship will continue and a shutdown will loom large. At this point, Democrats seem to hold the upper edge because Republicans won't be able to pass much of anything in the Senate. But the outcome is far from certain. The only thing certain from where I sit is that this entire drama is unnecessary -- or at the very least, should have happened back in September. Want to avoid all these endless battles over continuing resolutions? There's a simple way to do so. Pass a "No Budget, No Pay Act," and continuing resolution battles will never happen again.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

55 Comments on “A Simple Budget Process Fix”

  1. [1] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    That (the no-budget-no-pay-act) has the same chance of passing as congressional term limits, and for the same reason.

    However, who says gov't shutdown is a bad thing? They've done it before and it wasn't a big deal. Seeing as how most of what they do is a waste of money, it might actually be an improvement.

  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CRS,

    However, who says gov't shutdown is a bad thing? They've done it before and it wasn't a big deal. Seeing as how most of what they do is a waste of money, it might actually be an improvement.

    Not a big deal? Tell that to all of the government employees that won’t go in to work and thus won’t get paid for however long the government is shut down.

    Tell those people who have scheduled trips and paid for travel to our national monuments that will be turned away. Tell that to people waiting for the government to sign off on medical procedures their loved ones need.

    This Congress has had plenty of time to have worked on this budget, but the Republicans in control refused to address it. They are too comfortable with holding our nation hostage in order to have their demands met.

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Even a few weeks of missed paychecks would get the parties to the bargaining table. When you hit them where they live, it hurts, in other words. They wouldn't be playing brinksmanship games with children's health, or DACA kids, or the Pentagon's budget, or anything else -- they would be playing games with their own personal income.

    ^^^ Yes! This! ^^^

    It really makes my blood boil that these lawmakers (regardless of party) use CHIP as a bargaining chip on top of years spent attempting to dismantle the ACA with no real plan to replace it. Now the GOP wants us to believe that Democrats don't care about the health of our children simply because the GOP refused to fund CHIP when they could have done so at any time. That is how stupid they think we are. Pathetic.

    As far as a shutdown goes, I expect a "shutdown" for 5-ish days that ends next week... just a wild guess, I freely confess... and I agree with this guy:

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    “Here’s the truth, the gov't doesn’t shutdown” http://apne.ws/16lbI86 via @AP. All essential services continue. Don't believe lies.

    2:35 PM - 23 Sep 2013

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/382226839210434562?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Ftrump-twitter-shutdown-2d6605f00749%2F

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Even a few weeks of missed paychecks would get the parties to the bargaining table. When you hit them where they live, it hurts, in other words. They wouldn't be playing brinksmanship games with children's health, or DACA kids, or the Pentagon's budget, or anything else -- they would be playing games with their own personal income.

    ^^^ Yes! This! ^^^

    It really makes my blood boil that these lawmakers (regardless of party) use CHIP as a bargaining chip on top of years spent attempting to dismantle the ACA with no real plan to replace it. Now the GOP wants us to believe that Democrats don't care about the health of our children simply because the GOP refused to fund CHIP when they could have done so at any time. That is how stupid they think we are. Pathetic.

    As far as a shutdown goes, I expect a "shutdown" for 5-ish days that ends next week... just a wild guess, I freely confess... and I agree with this guy:

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    “Here’s the truth, the gov't doesn’t shutdown”. All essential services continue. Don't believe lies.

    2:35 PM - 23 Sep 2013

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/382226839210434562?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Ftrump-twitter-shutdown-2d6605f00749%2F

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    LWYH
    2

    Not a big deal? Tell that to all of the government employees that won’t go in to work and thus won’t get paid for however long the government is shut down.

    Actually, those deemed "nonessential" get paid for not going into work, and those deemed "essential" carry on as usual; however, there could be a delay in payment, and it is entirely possible that this could change under a new POTUS like BLOTUS. It would not surprise me in the least if "nonessential" employees had their pay withheld under BLOTUS... with the exception of Congress, of course.

    Tell those people who have scheduled trips and paid for travel to our national monuments that will be turned away. Tell that to people waiting for the government to sign off on medical procedures their loved ones need.

    Yep. A majority of medical personnel are considered "essential," but some of the "pencil pushers" are not, and everything sloooooooooooooows way down.

    This Congress has had plenty of time to have worked on this budget, but the Republicans in control refused to address it. They are too comfortable with holding our nation hostage in order to have their demands met.

    Amen. The GOP has spent far too long using the same tactics and pointing the finger across the aisle. It was Trump's decision to rescind DACA and Trump who refused to sign a compromise "bill of love" when he said that he would. Don't believe his BS about the military, though, the military is considered essential and would still report for duty. He must realize how stupid his base is because otherwise he'd have no need to lie to them about the military on Twitter. :)

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Once again and not surprisingly, California leads the way!

  7. [7] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    The elimination of the whole CR game would probably also force the congresscritters to get back to actually governing.

    As it stands now the Republicons have taken a "our way or the highway approach" to their majority governance and have preferred to pass their shenanigans via budget bills through the reconciliation process. Which is a little back door they use to run our country like it is a parliamentary form of governance.

    A true bi-partisan congresscritter written and approved budget would eliminate the that little crutch and force them to get back to doing things how they should be done... you know like by talking to each other and doing some giving to get some taking.

  8. [8] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    This is what total Republican Control of both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch looks like - a complete SNAFU. So far the GOP could agree to cut taxes on billionaires, and nothing else. Nothing.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats are going to shut down the government unless they get their way on immigrant criminals..

    Funny how ya'all castigated the GOP in 2013 for doing the EXACT same thing on a different issue..

    Yer hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see..

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It's a nice idea to theorize about but I have to agree with CRS that there is little chance of it ever happening, if any at all.

    But the basic concept of denying legislators something they want is a good idea. Instead of using the basic concept on ideas that will never happen and that treat the symptom rather than the cause of a problem we should be using it to deny what the legislators need more than their pay- our votes. And we can make then earn our votes by running small contribution campaigns.

    Then we could have legislators that are actually there to do the job we think they are there to do represent us instead of the Big Money interests. And it could put an end to the show that is designed to make the legislators look like they are fighting the good fight for their base but just have no choice but to give the Big Money interests what they want instead.

    While it may appear to some that this also has little chance of happening, it has a much better chance of happening because it doesn't depend on the legislators to do it for us- it depends on the people using the tools provided by our founding fathers for citizens to select our representation.

    Of course, citizens can't participate if they don't know the opportunity exists. Yet CW won't write about One Demand (or even answer my questions about it) because it has no chance of happening? (I am forced to guess at why CW does not answer my questions because he won't tell me why he won't write about One Demand or answer my questions).

    No chance of it happening didn't stop this article, so if that is why CW won't write about or address my questions on One Demand then that is not a valid reason. If there is some other reason(s) it would be nice to know what it is.

  11. [11] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Funny how ya'all castigated the GOP in 2013 for doing the EXACT same thing on a different issue..

    Except for one BIG difference: the Democrats were working in good faith both then and now; the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans. Obama had bent over backwards to secure compromises that the GOP could live with, and they just turned up their noses and voted against it all.

    Sadly, Trump chose to turn down the bill that he had instructed both parties that if they put it on his desk, he’d sign it. So while it seems that some Republicans are working in good faith to get things done, the president has shown that he isn’t.

  12. [12] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    Appreciate the correction that government employees should get paid, I did not think that was the case for most non-essential positions.

    Anytime the subject of federal employee pay comes up, I am reminded of the fact that we pay our elected officials to do fund raising for their parties. The average Congressional freshman spends about 60% of their workweek begging for donations — that’s 3 days out of a 5-day workweek spent NOT doing what they were elected to do. That leaves only 2 days for working for their constituents. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at how little they seem to actually accomplish, but it still should piss us off!

  13. [13] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    LWYH

    I'm constantly amazed that American taxpayers tolerate the number of "non-essential employees" we have on the gov't payroll.

    What we really need for purposes of gov't shutdown, is a list of SUPERFLUOUS gov't employees, who DO NOT GET PAID during shutdown, and that Trump should be at the top of that list!

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Except for one BIG difference: the Democrats were working in good faith both then and now;

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D

    You actually BELIEVE that...

    That is so cute... :D

    the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans.

    Just as the Democrats did with President Trump...

    There is no difference between 2013 and now. It's just NOW ya'all support a government shutdown because it will push your agenda...

    So, as I said at the time and ya'all have proven now.. Ya'all don't really mind a government shutdown. You just don't like it when it serves the GOP agenda..

    Ya'all LOVE a government shutdown if it pushes yer agenda...

    PARTY UBER ALLES

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Explosive", "Shocking" And "Alarming" FISA Memo Set To Rock DC, "End Mueller Investigation"
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-18/explosive-shocking-and-alarming-fisa-memo-set-rock-dc-end-mueller-investigation

    What great news to begin my 7-Day cruise on!! :D

  16. [16] 
    John M wrote:

    [1] C. R. Stucki

    "That (the no-budget-no-pay-act) has the same chance of passing as congressional term limits, and for the same reason."

    This is very true. What California did was great. But there is no way this is ever going to happen on a national level. There is no national referendum citizen ballot initiative process for changing the U.S. Constitution and not enough members of Congress are ever going to vote to change their own paychecks in this way.

    [4] Kick

    "Actually, those deemed "nonessential" get paid for not going into work, and those deemed "essential" carry on as usual; however, there could be a delay in payment, and it is entirely possible that this could change under a new POTUS like BLOTUS."

    Not true. Those deemed not essential don't get paid at all. Those deemed essential still have to go into work, but don't necessarily get paid either. They can be required to work without pay, such as members of the armed forces, including those in combat.

    In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after an agreement was reached in Washington. But that is not something that is guaranteed to happen. It requires Congress to actually pass a separate bill to retroactively pay government employees who were affected.

    [12] C. R. Stucki

    "I'm constantly amazed that American taxpayers tolerate the number of "non-essential employees" we have on the gov't payroll."

    Things like Social Security checks keep going out only because they have their own dedicated source of funding that is not subject to Congress's annual appropriation budget process.

    But others, "nonessential services" like national parks being open, and gun permits and passports going out, simply stop until however long it takes to get the government funded again.

    [8] Michale

    "Democrats are going to shut down the government unless they get their way on immigrant criminals."

    Excuse me, did you miss the part where C.W. stated that the government would shut down even without any Democrat voting no because the Republicans by themselves potentially don't have enough votes to keep the government open and running? The Republicans have a majority. All they need is for a majority of Republicans to vote in favor of a continuing resolution, and the government stays open. They don't need 60 votes, if Democrats simply decide not to oppose it, not to filibuster it and not vote at all. If Democrats don't decide to do that, then yes it does require 60 votes.

  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    [13] Michale

    "Just as the Democrats did with President Trump..."

    Really? Just what have Democrats stopped Trump from doing legislatively by majority vote on an actual piece of legislation? Name ONE....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really? Just what have Democrats stopped Trump from doing legislatively by majority vote on an actual piece of legislation? Name ONE....

    I don't have to because that's not what I said..

    RUSS:the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans.

    MICHALE: Just as the Democrats did with President Trump..

    Check yer comprehension, JM :D

  19. [19] 
    John M wrote:

    [17] Michale

    "I don't have to because that's not what I said.."

    YES IT IS. AGAIN, YOU are the one with a comprehension problem!

    RUSS:the Republicans have openly bragged how they had "no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything" that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans.

    MICHALE: Just as the Democrats did with President Trump..

    Pray tell, just WHAT do you think PREVENT SIGNING SOMETHING INTO LAW MEANS???

    IT means it has to pass Congress FIRST. So I ask you AGAIN. Just WHAT have Democrats stopped Trump from passing Congress by majority vote and signing into law??

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pray tell, just WHAT do you think PREVENT SIGNING SOMETHING INTO LAW MEANS???

    What part of "OPENLY BRAGGED" do you not understand??

    Russ didn't say ANYTHING about passing or signing into law..

    The subject of his statement was the Democrats OPENLY BRAGGING.

    I'll accept your concession and apology...

    If you actually had the integrity to admit you were wrong and apologize....

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    The subject of his statement was the Democrats OPENLY BRAGGING.

    Scratch that.. The subject of his statement was the Republicans OPENLY BRAGGING.

    My bust...

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, Republicans openly bragged about obstructing Odumbo and Democrats openly brag about obstructing President Trump..

    So, there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between Democrats and Republicans in that regard...

    Feel free to offer your apology and concession..

    I'll accept them with grace and dignity...

  23. [23] 
    John M wrote:

    [19] Michale

    "What part of "OPENLY BRAGGED" do you not understand??

    Russ didn't say ANYTHING about passing or signing into law.."

    YES HE DID. Quote the ENTIRE statement. DON'T CHERRY PICK.

    RUSS:the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans.

    The statement, IN CONTEXT, was NOT ONLY BRAGGING, BUT BRAGGING ABOUT OBSTRUCTING PASSING ANYTHING INTO LAW. There, fixed it for you!

    I will accept YOUR apology and concession with both grace and dignity. Juts like with your "my bust" statement when you corrected yourself for mixing up Democrats and Republicans.

  24. [24] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale, is is RIGHT there in black and white. You simply paraphrase it to mean what you want it to mean, even after your yourself print the entire thing, and cut it off in mid sentence when you are trying to justify your position!

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    RUSS:the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans.

    EXACTLY OPENLY BRAGGED about having NO INTENTION....

    Says NOTHING about actually DOING IT...

    You're wrong, JM..

    But, as usual, you can't admit it....

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't worry.. I am used to ya'all ignoring the FACTS due to your Party slavery and bigotry and your HHPTDS....

    It's nothing new.. Just another day in Weigantia under PRESIDENT Trump...

  27. [27] 
    John M wrote:

    [24] Michale

    "EXACTLY OPENLY BRAGGED about having NO INTENTION....

    Says NOTHING about actually DOING IT..."

    In other words, QUICK JM caught me! Let me quickly add some qualifiers NOW!

    Keep moving the goalposts Michale, because that is what you do to avoid admitting when you are wrong, even when you are caught red handed. Trying to have an intelligent conversation with you is like talking to a stick of furniture or a two year old. "Don't respond to what I actually said, or what I actually meant, go by what I am really saying now!"

  28. [28] 
    John M wrote:

    Qualifiers that weren't even there before, and have no practical meaning, since they did ACTUALLY FOLLOW their stated intentions.

  29. [29] 
    John M wrote:

    Intentions actually carried out in real life. Since they held up Obama's nomination to the Supreme Court for a year, thereby preventing it, as just one example.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Intentions actually carried out in real life.

    But that's not what Russ said...

    Russ's statement was SOLELY about the Republicans BRAGGING about obstructing Obama.. Made NO mention of any follow thru...

    My response was that Democrats did the EXACT same thing to President Trump. BRAGGED about obstruction...

    Yer wrong JM... The more you deny it, the more pathetic you come across...

  31. [31] 
    John M wrote:

    As Elizabeth says, I am done for now. If anyone actually wants to have an intelligent conversation instead of back and forth childish NAH NAH NAH, I will be back later.

  32. [32] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Allow me to settle this for you both:

    John M is correct. The Republicans were in a position to prevent legislation from ever reaching Obama’s desk, the Democrats have no way of doing that with Trump.

    Michale, the biggest issue I have with how the GOP treated Obama was that their actions were not based on a philosophical or political differences — in January of 2009 they agreed to vote against ANYTHING Obama supported regardless of the content of the proposed legislation for as long as Obama was in office.

    They even voted against legislation that they, themselves, had introduced; but only after it became clear that Obama supported it and signified that he would sign it into law if it reached his desk. How can anyone believe that they had their constituent’s best interests in mind when they did this?

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    John M is correct. The Republicans were in a position to prevent legislation from ever reaching Obama’s desk, the Democrats have no way of doing that with Trump.

    That may have been what you MEANT, Russ... But that is not what you SAID...

    You *SAID* the Republicans have openly bragged how they had no intention of letting Obama sign into law anything that would be viewed in a positive light by most Americans

    And I responded that Democrats did the EXACT same thing.. They *BRAGGED* about obstructing everything President Trump did and would do...

    Now, if you want to move on to actual ACTIONS, fine..

    But, let's settle this first...

    DID the Democrats *ALSO* "BRAG" about obstructing President Trump..

    YES or NO...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    in January of 2009 they agreed to vote against ANYTHING Obama supported regardless of the content of the proposed legislation for as long as Obama was in office.

    Change 2009 to 2017, change "they" to "Democrats" and change "Obama" to "Trump" and they *EXACT* same thing is factually accurate..

    Again..

    YES or NO......

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    As Elizabeth says, I am done for now.

    Pussy.... :D

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Change 2009 to 2017, change "they" to "Democrats" and change "Obama" to "Trump" and they *EXACT* same thing is factually accurate..

    And get rid of the 'y' before *EXACT*

    :D

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    in January of 2009 they agreed to vote against ANYTHING Obama supported regardless of the content of the proposed legislation for as long as Obama was in office.

    Change 2009 to 2017, change "they" to "Democrats" and change "Obama" to "Trump" and they *EXACT* same thing is factually accurate..

    You see, this is ya'all's EXACT problem...

    You acted all indignant when the GOP did that to Odumbo, but ya'all are doing the EXACT same thing to President Trump....

    Ya'all are acting EXACTLY like ya'all accuse the GOP of acting towards Odumbo...

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    LWYH
    12

    Appreciate the correction that government employees should get paid, I did not think that was the case for most non-essential positions.

    That's just history, though. Do I think Trump would withhold "furlough" pay? He has a decades long history of stiffing investors, banks, contract employees, vendors, etc., and left to his own devices, I believe he would. However, I don't think he'd refuse to sign congressional legislation paying it either.

    Anytime the subject of federal employee pay comes up, I am reminded of the fact that we pay our elected officials to do fund raising for their parties.

    Yep.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at how little they seem to actually accomplish, but it still should piss us off!

    It makes my blood boil. Their primary job is to keep the government running. Epic fail in 3...2...1. Kicking the can down the road weeks at a time is pathetic, but the GOP can agree on very little inside their own ranks and have been blaming the Democrats for far too long for their "establishment GOP" versus "Tea Party" woes.

    The Party that hasn't been able to agree amongst themselves for over a decade now will play hell convincing anyone but the uneducated and party drones that it's the Democrats' fault when a large number of Republicans aren't in agreement either. It's the "far-right" versus the "establishment" and nothing new under the sun, while BLOTUS refused the compromise that had been reached already but yet refuses to provide guidance regarding what he'll accept. This is on Trump who wants to compromise but can't afford to piss off the "deplorables." Pathetic really.

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    13

    I'm constantly amazed that American taxpayers tolerate the number of "non-essential employees" we have on the gov't payroll.

    Perhaps you should simply examine the definition of "nonessential employees." Passports are processed by employees deemed "nonessential" during a shutdown. Internal Revenue Service "pencil pushers" are deemed "nonessential" during a shutdown, slowing down refunds to citizens. Almost everything involving paperwork like grants to innovators, subsidies to farmers, etc. will not be processed because of a shutdown.

    What we really need for purposes of gov't shutdown, is a list of SUPERFLUOUS gov't employees, who DO NOT GET PAID during shutdown, and that Trump should be at the top of that list!

    Trump donates his paycheck to worthy causes; I insist that we keep paying him. :)

  40. [40] 
    Kick wrote:

    John M
    16

    Not true. Those deemed not essential don't get paid at all. Those deemed essential still have to go into work, but don't necessarily get paid either. They can be required to work without pay, such as members of the armed forces, including those in combat.

    You're preaching to the choir. :)

    It wasn't my intention to recite laws regarding federal pay, just to let another poster know that federal employees have always been paid in prior shutdowns... albeit delayed payment.

    In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after an agreement was reached in Washington. But that is not something that is guaranteed to happen. It requires Congress to actually pass a separate bill to retroactively pay government employees who were affected.

    Don't I know it. I've literally become a bank in the past when my friends needed loans "just until they shut down the shutdown." I really would put nothing past Trump going forward if it were entirely up to him; however, I don't think he'd refuse to sign legislation to pay federal employees when he depends on them and can't pick and choose who to shaft. :)

  41. [41] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    The Dems did try to block much of Trump’s legislation from passing, and that was because it was horrible legislation! They also were willing to work with Trump to secure DACA’s continuation. This is why the comparison you are trying to make fails miserably: the Democrats will support good legislation regardless of who is introducing it/signing it into law. Republicans cannot make the same claim!

    The Democrats aren’t going to block legislation that they support without there being a bigger goal in mind. The Republicans decided in 2009 to spend the next 8 years voting against Obama regardless of the cost to our country. Watching McCain flip flop on every position that was remotely similar to Obama’s position immediately after McCain won the Republican primary was confusing for me to understand, at first. I realized that it had nothing to do with any of the issues or positions, themselves, but was done so that McCain supporters didn’t have to think — they could just automatically know that they were against anything Obama was for! It’s this type of tribalism in politics that makes me loathe what the GOP has become.

  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    LWYH
    32

    John M is correct. The Republicans were in a position to prevent legislation from ever reaching Obama’s desk, the Democrats have no way of doing that with Trump.

    Exactly. John M and Russ are correct. The GOP trying to convince anyone with two brain cells to rub together that Democrats can obstruct Trump are simply spewing disinformation. Last time I checked, it was Republican lawmakers and John McCain's thumb that ultimately killed Trump's "bigly" legislation. Duh.

    Face the facts, the only big piece of legislation on which Republicans have been able to agree was passing a tax cut that primarily favors corporations and the rich. So I ask you, if the GOP passed the tax cuts with no votes from a single Democrat, what kind of moron is going to believe that the GOP couldn't have kept the government open had they so chosen? :)

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CNN is superimposing a shutdown countdown clock on their video. This should give concerned citizens plenty of time to seal thenselves into their shutdown shelters. Make sure you've got duct tape, preserved.rations, water and s shotgun. If caught in the open, duck and cover!

    Seriously, what a bunch of pompous drama queens.

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    43

    CNN is superimposing a shutdown countdown clock on their video.

    *LOL* I just checked... FOX and MSNBC are doing it too. Too funny. :0

  45. [45] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Shutdown scares sure cause the government to move at light speed.

    Task Order approvals are still coming in at 6 pm on the east coast.

    I should be safe in my shutdown shelter. I sprayed a dollar sign on the door and duct taped my piggy bank....

  46. [46] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The just released House Intel Committee interview with Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS is even more interesting than the Senate's interview released by Dianne Feinstein 2 weeks ago.

    You can find the House Intel transcript here:

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/18/house-panel-releases-transcript-of-interview-with-fusion-gps-co-founder-346342

    Trump is alleged, among other things, to have laundered money for the Italian mafia, and more recently the smarter and craftier Russian mafia. The Russian mafia is basically an arm of Soviet Intelligence, which is controlled by Putin. Donald Trump aka Mafia Don? That the allegation.

    Simpson gave this information to the FBI in 2016. Simpson points out what neilm has noted a few times....Trump is especially vulnerable to charges that he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    Reminds me of a Village People Song:

    Old man, you are right to feel down
    I said, old man, pick yourself off the ground
    I said, old man, 'cause you're in a new town
    You had better hunker down....

    You messed with the FCPA
    You messed with the FCPA

    and so on.

    Put a couple of logs on the fire, brew some cocoa, load some background music and enjoy a compelling 165 page (double spaced) read.

  47. [47] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick - There is more than a little Kent Brockman in all cable news outfits. You have to do something to fill in the airtime.

  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "I sprayed a dollar sign on the door"

    Well done GT!

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    You messed with the FCPA

    OK, firstly hilarious.

    Secondly, I've now got that tune stuck in my head.

  50. [50] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    46

    Simpson gave this information to the FBI in 2016. Simpson points out what neilm has noted a few times....Trump is especially vulnerable to charges that he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    Oh, my goodness. This guy sounds like a turncoat who sold out his country to Russia.

    WHO KNEW?

    Reminds me of a Village People Song:

    Old man, you are right to feel down
    I said, old man, pick yourself off the ground
    I said, old man, 'cause you're in a new town
    You had better hunker down....

    You messed with the FCPA
    You messed with the FCPA

    Trump is the Village Person in the Orange Jump suit and flip flops; they call him Benedict Donald.

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Stig [45] Mafia Don indeed. From page 24:

    SIMPSON: We also had sort of more broadly learned that Mr. Trump had long time associations with Italian organized crime figures. And as we pieced together the early years of his biography, it seemed as if during the early part of his career he had connections to a lot of Italian mafia figures, and then gradually during the nineties became associated with Russian mafia figures.

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    49

    OK, firstly hilarious.

    Secondly, I've now got that tune stuck in my head.

    I was just thinking the same thing!

    So "FCPA" won't stop playing in my head, and then... BAM... "Macho Man" pops into my head, and euuuuwwww that won't work... so I'm changing that to "Capo Man."

    This is on you, TS! *LOL* :)

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    My wife and her friend just started singing "Green Acres" - so all cured - now I can't stop singing it instead.

  54. [54] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [43] and [45]

    CNN [... FOX and MSNBC are] superimposing a shutdown countdown clock on their video.

    Popcorn sales are soaring, I'm sure. The finale of Season 1 of Trump: The President.

    I think they'll shut it down. The Democrats can give him the best anniversary present they could: Shut down the government, and ruin his big Mara Lago victory dance and weekend.

  55. [55] 
    TheStig wrote:

    When you run with the NYC Italian mob you are assigned a colorful nick name.

    Donny "Tighty Whitey" Trump

    Donny "Tiny Hands" Trump

    Donny "Fast Food" Trump

    Donny " That's a Camel" Trump

    Donny "2&1/2 Chins " Trump

    Donny "Long Tie" Trump

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